WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Center of Military History released Modern War in an Ancient Land: The United States Army in Afghanistan 2001–2014, a two-volume history, today.
These volumes, prepared by the Operation Enduring Freedom Study Group, present a first cut operational-level narrative of how the U.S. Army formed, trained, deployed, and employed its forces in Afghanistan from October 2001 to December 2014. At the same time, it delves into the tactical realm when such insights amplify the implications of operational decisions or occurrences.
To write this history, the study group, led by Edmund J. “E.J.” Degen, embarked on an extensive research program that relied heavily on primary source documents. The group also conducted dozens of oral history interviews with key military and civilian leaders. These volumes include fifty maps, a wide range of campaign photography and artwork, and volume-specific indexes.
The Army routinely conducts after action reviews of operations that capture lessons learned and are intended to help guide and inform future decisions by military leaders at all levels.
The process of researching, analyzing and writing the history can take several years, Degen noted that, “It’s important to capture these historical lessons as soon as we can as they may apply to future wars.”
As part of the Army’s continuous campaign of learning, CMH will write more in-depth histories of all aspects of the war in Afghanistan, including operations from 2015 to 2021, the evacuation of Kabul, and security force assistance.
The two-volume book set will be released as CMH Pub 59-1-1 and will be available in print, as an eBook, and as a free pdf download starting November 17, 2021. Access to these options are found at: https://history.army.mil/html/books/059/59-1/
The general public can also purchase print copies of these volumes from the U.S. Government Publishing Office. https://bookstore.gpo.gov/
For additional information about the history of the U.S. Army in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM please visit:
For more information about the U.S. Army Center of Military History or for media queries please contact the CMH Public Affairs Officer, Mr. F. Lee Reynolds, at [email protected] or 202-714-1562.
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